Ibu E, a Muslim woman, was abandoned by both parents when she was a young child. She was raised by members of her extended family. When she grew up and got married, she married an abusive man. They had two children together. One day, she decided she couldn’t handle his abuse anymore. So, she left him and the children, none of whom she has seen since she left several years ago.
She married again, this time, to a kind man, who while quite poor and uneducated, is a hard worker. Her husband works three jobs—a night time neighborhood security guard, a gardener and a trash collector. They have two young children together.
Right now, they live as squatters in a shack on land that isn’t theirs. However, they saved their money carefully and recently bought some land, although they took out a loan on part of the cost. They plan to continue to save money so they can buy building materials to build a good house on that land. In the meantime, they live in a shack made of plywood.
They also hope to continue to save money to pay for the education of their children. Schooling costs money in Indonesia, no matter whether it’s a public or private school.
One of the hardest times in Ibu E’s life was when her son, a baby at the time, got dengue fever and spent several days in intensive care in the hospital. He is healthier now. But he continues to struggle with sicknesses off and on. Ibu E usually seeks traditional village medicine, and sometimes witchdoctors, to help him, as she can’t afford to pay for medical care or doctors for him.